Journalism and media students showed their support for a group of Al Jazeera reporters incarcerated in Egypt by joining the Qatar based news service’s FreeAJStaff campaign on the social media platform Twitter.
Approximately 100 students clutching signs that read #FreeAJStaff piled onto the steps of the amphitheatre outside the creative arts building on Monday 3 March.
A photo of the group was later posted to Twitter, joining a stream of similar images taken by media freedom advocates around the world.
Australian correspondent Peter Greste, Al Jazeera’s Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed were arrested on December 29. The men are accused of assisting the Muslim Brotherhood and spreading false news. All of the defendants have pleaded not guilty. A total of 20 Al Jazeera journalists are currently detained in Egypt.
Communications and Media and International Studies student Edward Abbott participated in the protest because he supports the campaign’s underlying message that journalism is a fundamental part of a democratic society.
“Without objective journalism there’s no such thing as a democracy”, Edward said.